What we feed our cats is important, but we all have different ideas of what is important in cat food. For example, the cat food brand Open Farm goes for ethically sourced ingredients you can trace back to the source, while the Orijen brand goes for a higher meat content to imitate a feline’s natural diet. Both are very different, but these two brands are surprisingly similar in certain areas. Both brands fall into a mid-point price range and offer your pet plenty of protein in their diet, and both are quite popular with cat parents.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at what makes these brands comparable and how they differ. Whether it’s taste, quality of ingredients, price, or customer reviews, we’ll see how they stack up. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to decide which food would be better to feed your cat.
A Quick Comparison
|Brand name||Open Farm||Orijen|
|Product lines||Dry, wet, broths & supplements||Dry, wet & freeze-dried treats|
Brief History of Open Farm
Open Farm is a newer pet food company that was created in 2014. The co-founders—Jacqueline Prehogan, her husband Isaac Langleben, and her brother-in-law Derek Beigleman—decided to open the company after they had trouble finding natural, high-quality, nutritious pet food that matched up with their personal values. It took a few years of hard work and much research, but finally, Open Farm was opened.
The company aims to source the best ingredients from farmers who believe in treating their livestock humanely while also maintaining transparency and honesty with their customers. This means Open Farm ensures you can trace every single ingredient back to its ethically sourced origins.
Brief History of Orijen
Orijen markets itself as a new type of cat food created to feed and nourish our feline friends with an evolutionary diet based on fresh meat and plenty of protein.
The company was created in 1985 by Reinhard Mühlenfeld, a Canadian entrepreneur who dreamed of becoming the first Canadian pet food manufacturer. The company began with only Reinhard himself and two employees who worked to make food for the animals of local farmers in Alberta. Thirty-three years later, Orijen had 500+ employees, a sales team that was global, and manufacturing facilities not only in Alberta but also Ontario and Kentucky.
Orijen was the original brand of Champion Petfoods, which was indeed the first Canadian pet food manufacturer.
Open Farm Manufacturing
Though Open Farm is a Canadian company based in Toronto, the company’s manufacturing facilities are located in Minnesota. That means everything related to the formulas, development, and distribution of Open Farm recipes occurs in Canada. But the facility in Minnesota manufactures everything and has access to Open Farm’s partner farms. The manufacturing facility is also responsible for facilitating the company’s local veggie program.
This is why Open Farms packaging contains the phrases “Formulated in Canada” and “Made in the USA”.
The Open Farm facility in Minnesota is routinely audited by the FDA, USDA, Certified Humane, and AIB International to ensure the highest standards of food safety are consistently maintained. And every batch of Open Farm products is independently tested by a third-party lab.
Champion Pet Foods owns and manufactures Orijen (as well as the Acana brand). Since Champion is based out of Canada, Orijen products were made exclusively in Alberta for quite a while. However, that changed in 2016 when Champion opened a manufacturing facility in Kentucky. The Orijen Canadian line is still produced in Alberta, while the U.S. line is made at the Kentucky facility.
Interesting fact: the U.S. and Canadian product lines contain slight differences because particular ingredients will be locally available at one manufacturing facility but not the other. These differences aren’t significant, though, and all of Orijen’s pet food products focus on high standards of food safety and nutritional integrity.
Open Farm Product Line
Open Farm is a newer company that started out with dog food before moving into cat food, so it’s still a bit limited in what it offers. But with premium nutrition that’s ethically sourced and sustainable, these foods, supplements, and mixers offer your pet a lot.
Open Farm’s dry food cat food line consists of four recipes:
- Homestead Turkey & Chicken
- Wild-Caught Salmon
- Catch-of-the-Season Whitefish
- Pasture-Raised Lamb
All recipes contain humanely-raised meat or wild-caught fish from the North Pacific Ocean as the first ingredients, followed by fish meal as the second (and sometimes third) ingredient. Other ingredients include non-GMO fruits and veggies such as cranberries and chickpeas, other fruits and veggies such as apples and pumpkin, coconut and salmon oil, and greens such as dandelion greens. Each product page on their site comes with a list of every ingredient, along with a description of each and where exactly it was sourced.
The Open Farm wet cat food line consists of six recipes:
- Harvest Chicken Rustic Blend
- Homestead Turkey Rustic Blend
- Wild-Caught Salmon Rustic Blend
- Chicken & Salmon Rustic Blend
- Grass-Fed Beef Rustic Blend
- Herring & Mackerel Rustic Blend
As with the dry food, each recipe contains either humanely raised meat or wild-caught fish as the first ingredient, except in this case, it’s human-grade meat (which technically means you could safely eat it, though we don’t recommend doing so). The rest of the ingredients in the wet food line consist of a mix of non-GMO veggies and fruits, regular veggies and fruits, along with coconut and salmon oil. Whole ingredients are used for the wet food line, and each recipe is high in protein due to the meat content. And like the dry food, each product comes with a list of ingredients telling you where each came from.
Broths & Supplements
Open Farm also offers our feline friends an interesting selection of bone broths and supplements.
The bone broths come in:
- Harvest Chicken
- Homestead Turkey
- Grass-Fed Beef
Why bone broth? You can add this to your cat’s food for a collagen boost that will keep skin and coat healthy, plus, it’s a way to add moisture if your pet has trouble with dry food while also adding nutrients.
The supplements come in:
- Goat Milk Digestion Blend
- Goat Milk Relaxation Blend
- Goat Milk Antioxidant Blend
- Certified Humane Goat Milk Kefir Blend
- Organic Grass-Fed Cow Milk Kefir Blend
These supplements are packed with nutrients specific to the area they’re supplementing. And the goat milk supplements are low-lactose, which is excellent since most cats are lactose intolerant.
Orijen Product Line
Orijen’s cat food and treat lines are surprisingly limited, despite the company having been around for so long. They carry roughly the same amount of cat products as Open Farm, though Orijen carries freeze-dried treats along with their wet and dry foods. Orijen’s big thing is having recipes based on biologically appropriate and whole prey ingredients, meaning they are ingredients your feline would naturally eat in the wild.
The Orijen dry food product line comes in:
- Kitten Formula
- Original Cat
- Guardian 8 Formula
- Six Fish
- Regional Red
- Fit & Trim
The first five ingredients of each recipe consist of either fresh or raw protein sources, making this food particularly high in protein. And Orijen’s recipe lines are biologically appropriate, meaning the ingredients match what cats are evolved to consume. Some dry recipes are also considered WholePrey, meaning meat, organ, and bones are included to match what your cat would consume if it was wild. Other ingredients include lentils, chickpeas, green peas, pumpkin, pears, apples, and probiotics. Overall, the blend of ingredients makes for excellent cat nutrition.
Orijen’s wet cat food line comes in:
- Chicken & Salmon Kitten
- Regional Red
- Duck & Chicken
The wet food line carries even more protein sources than the dry food line. For example, the first eleven ingredients in the Regional Red are fresh or raw meat and meat products. You won’t find any fruits or veggies here, though, as the wet food products are made entirely of meats and added vitamins.
Finally, the freeze-dried treat line consists of:
- Original, Regional Red
- Six Fish
- Grass-Fed Lamb
These, of course, have the least ingredients involved out of all the product lines and are made from 99% meat and meat products. This makes the treat line incredibly high in protein, though. However, the fat content is high in some of the treats, so you’ll want to be careful not to overfeed your pet.
Cost is always a consideration when purchasing cat food. Open Farm and Orijen are reasonably comparable regarding price, despite Open Farm’s use of ethically sourced, sustainable ingredients. Prices for both brands vary, though, depending on where you buy your cat food.
Open Farm’s wet cat food seems a bit pricey at first glance, but considering it’s 5.5-ounce a bag instead of a 3-ounce can, you’re getting a bit more bang for your buck. Their dry food line is comparable in price to other mid-range brands, while their bone broths and supplements are on the pricier side. That said, with the quality of the ingredients and the transparency on where they come from, the cost of Open Farm seems reasonable.
Orijen’s dry food line runs along the same price range as Open Farm’s, putting them in the mid-range category of cat food brands. And depending on where you buy the wet food, it could run you just a bit cheaper than Open Farm’s wet food (however, Orijen comes in 3-ounce cans, so you’re also getting less food). Be careful, though, because packs of the wet food are much pricier in some stores. The brand’s freeze-dried treats seem to be a good value, as they are comparable in price to most cat treats but are incredibly high in protein.
Returns & Refunds
Our cats don’t always enjoy the food we get them, so when you’re trying out a product for the first time, it’s good to know whether returns are allowed and if you can get a refund. Open Farm and Orijen are a bit different from each other when it comes to this area.
Open Farm stands behind their products being healthy and delicious, but they still accept any returns made on their website as long as it’s within 15 days of the purchase date. To return a product purchased via their site, you’ll need to email or call their customer service to get instructions and a mailing address you can return to. Once they’ve received the returned product, the company will refund your money or exchange it for another product if you prefer. However, refunds don’t include shipping, only the cost of the actual product.
Orijen itself doesn’t have a return policy for cat food, as you can’t buy directly from their website. That means you’ll need to check out the return and refund policy of the store where you purchased your cat food. Whether that’s Chewy, Walmart, Petco, or elsewhere, ensure you know whether products can be returned and how to return them before buying.
You should always be able to get in touch with a company’s customer service when needed, and that customer service should be helpful. Below is a look at how Open Farm and Orijen’s customer service was rated by consumers and how to reach out to them.
Open Farm offers three ways to get in contact with them. You can call or live chat Monday-Friday from 9 AM–7 PM EST. Or you can send an email and get a response within 48 hours. According to the Better Business Bureau, there have only been a couple of complaints about the ability to get in touch with customer service and receive refunds in a timely manner. However, these complaints were adequately resolved, so overall, Open Farm’s customer service seems quite excellent.
Orijen only provides two ways to get in touch with them—either through a contact form on their site or by calling. Calls are accepted Monday-Friday from 7:30 AM–4 PM MST. There’s no information on how quickly the company responds to the contact form, though. While some general complaints about the brand were found, we found no complaints about the quality of the customer service. It seems that people who called got through to customer service reps quickly and had their questions answered in a satisfactory manner.
Head-to-Head Turkey & Chicken Dry Food: Open Farm vs Orijen
The Open Farm Homestead dry food contains real meat and fish meal as the first four ingredients, followed by a host of veggies and fruits (some of which are non-GMO). Cranberries help ward off the risk of infection in the urinary tract, and prebiotics are included for healthier digestion. It also provides your pet with 37% guaranteed crude protein, 18% crude fat, and 470 calories per cup.
The Orijen Original dry food contains real meat and fish, as well as meat products such as liver as the first seven ingredients, followed by primarily peas and lentils, with a handful of fruits and veggies closer to the end of the ingredient list. It, too, contains cranberries that help lower the risk of urinary tract infections and guarantees 40% crude protein, 20% fat, and 515 calories per cup.
The two foods are very close, but Open Farm wins out by just a touch as it contains a similar amount of protein as Orijen but with fewer calories.
Head-to-Head Chicken & Salmon Wet Food: Open Farm vs Orijen
Both brands offer a wet food containing chicken and salmon, though one is geared towards kittens while the other is for cats of all ages.
Open Farm’s chicken and salmon wet food is human-grade, putting it a touch ahead of Orijen almost immediately. It’s also chock full of tasty ingredients other than the chicken and salmon, everything from lentils to chicory root. It gives your cat a guaranteed 8% minimum of crude protein, 6% crude fat, and 138 calories a pouch.
Orijen’s version is made almost entirely of meat, meat products, and bone broth (other than a bit of egg) but has plenty of added vitamins to meet your kitten’s nutritional needs. It provides your kitty with more crude protein than Open Farm with 12%, but about the same amount of crude fat with 7%. It also only has 100 calories a can (though a can contains about 2.5 oz less food than the Open Farm wet food).
Open Farms is the winner because of the quality of the ingredients and the amount of food in each bag.
Head-to-Head Fish Recipe: Open Farm vs Orijen
These two products are a bit different as the Open Farm certainly has less fish in it than the Orijen food, but the two are comparable.
Open Farm’s dry food contains real whitefish as the first ingredient, with whitefish meal and herring meal being the next two. It also has the mix of lentils, beans, fruits, and veggies found in other Open Farm recipes (though this recipe contains fewer fruits and veggies than the ones listed above). It guarantees your feline 37% crude protein, 18% crude fat, and 470 calories a cup.
In contrast, Orijen’s food’s first nine ingredients are either whole fish or fish meal, including mackerel, herring, and monkfish. It also contains a good mix of beans and lentils, with a dash of fruits and veggies. Its guaranteed analysis for your pet is 40% crude protein, 20% crude fat, and 515 calories per cup.
This one is more of a tie. Both foods are almost even when it comes to protein, fat, and calories (though Open Farms contains fewer calories). But Orijen wins out by having more whole fish in its recipe.
Overall Brand Reputation
We’ve covered a lot thus far, but there’s still more! Here’s a quick rundown on how Open Farm and Orijen come up against each other when it comes to taste, price, reviews, and quality.
- Edge: Open Farm
Open Farm comes out ahead when it comes to taste. We saw several people comment that Orijen used to taste better when it was made in Canada, but the recipe quality went down a bit when it started being manufactured in Kentucky. Cats just seemed to be bigger fans of the original Orijen recipes. We didn’t see many complaints about Open Farm, though.
- Edge: Tie
Overall, the cost of Open Farm and Orijen are very similar. Open Farm wins out just a bit when it comes to its wet food line, as more food is provided in a serving. But Orijen’s treat line is more affordable than Open Farm’s bone broths and supplements. So, we’re deeming them fairly even.
- Edge: Open Farm
Open Farm is the winner again. Though plenty of people and their cats adore Orijen’s food, there were those complaints about the recipes being not as good now that the Canadian versions are no longer available to those in the U.S. However, plenty of people raved about Open Farm’s products, commenting that their pets had more energy and shinier coats. They also loved the ingredients used and the traceability of those ingredients.
Quality of Ingredients
- Edge: Open Farm
While both cat food products have good ingredients, Open Farm’s ingredients definitely come out ahead when it comes to quality. From being sustainable and ethically sourced to using human-grade ingredients in their wet food line, this brand’s ingredients are high-quality.
Open Farm and Orijen are somewhat comparable brands, but Open Farm comes out with a slight edge due to their high-quality ingredients. However, if you’re looking for higher protein content in your pet’s diet or for your cat to eat more as nature intended, you’ll likely prefer Orijen. But if where the ingredients in your cat’s food come from or how environmentally sound a food is concerns you, you’ll prefer Open Farm. Both brands are in the same price range and have product lines with a limited number of recipes, so it really will come down to what kind of ingredients you want your cat to have.
- A Quick Comparison
- Brief History of Open Farm
- Brief History of Orijen
- Open Farm Manufacturing
- Orijen Manufacturing
- Open Farm Product Line
- Orijen Product Line
- Returns & Refunds
- Customer Service
- Head-to-Head Turkey & Chicken Dry Food: Open Farm vs Orijen
- Head-to-Head Chicken & Salmon Wet Food: Open Farm vs Orijen
- Head-to-Head Fish Recipe: Open Farm vs Orijen
- Overall Brand Reputation